The Whitney has been a Detroit landmark since it was built in the 1890’s. Its a majestic sight and a glimpse into the old world of Detroit and the neighborhood of opulence that used to exist on Woodward. It has since been turned into a restaurant and I have been wanting to eat there for a while, if nothing else to see the inside of this glorious mansion.
The house is huge and the best part of eating there is being able to tour it after. You can walk around and explore all three floors. Each room gives you a glimpse into the life of the previous owners with the amazing Tiffany glass windows and the gorgeous wood and plaster details.
We went for lunch on a Friday. It was moderately busy, and they actually use the many rooms as different dining areas.
I’m a bread snob. I admit it. I like to get high on carbs. I feel like the bread sets the tone for the meal. If something as simple as bread is not executed properly it is a foreboding sign. Sadly, the bread bombed. I suppose it was an attempt at garlic bread. It was hard, cold, and oily.
The Caesar Salad was good. Fresh lettuce and properly dressed. I will note one thing, I was expecting silverware and plates reminiscent of the era. Not the square, white, modern plates that were served.
I skimmed the menu. I wanted something comforting. Something warm and lux. It was a cold day outside, and I needed to feel human again. I chose the Lobster Mac n Cheese ($23). It was a good plate of food. It was huge, I couldn’t finish it. The lobster was salty and was a bite of the ocean, a little over cooked though, and it seemed to be added on top as an after thought.
Sam had the Pasta with, Peas, Rosemary, white Cream Sauce over Fettuccini ($13). I am very sorry to say, it was bland, flavorless and uninspired. I know its a simple pasta dish, but it was sent out with no salt or flavor whatsoever. I get frustrated when simple dishes are overlooked. This plate could have been creamy and great. I get more flavor out of instant pasta from a rice-a-roni box.
Our friend “T”, ordered the Orange Glazed Chicken with Garlic Polenta Honey Mustard Braised Carrots ($17). She said it was some of the best chicken she had ever had.
For dessert, we chose all three that they offered ($7 each). The creme brulee was the best and the only one worth ordering. It had the perfect crust, and was creamy and perfect. I always get an Amelie moment anytime I eat it. Maybe that adds to the magic.
The cheesecake was thick, and the crust too hard to cut through with a fork. I didn’t like it. Whatever happened to light fluffy pieces of cream cheese heaven?
The carrot cake was light and moist. The frosting a great consistency. I just thought it was way to small. It needed to be double the size.
After dining there and touring the mansion after, I have to say, you need to eat at the Whitney at least once in your life, just for the experience. The food could be improved, but it wasn’t bad. Maybe their dinner menu has more to offer and I believe they are known for their brunch. The mansion itself is gorgeous. I am so glad it is still around, and I hope it stays for around for centuries.